Escaping The Bermuda Triangle: My 100th Country

Escaping The Bermuda Triangle: My 100th Country

After a day in Bermuda’s capital of Hamilton, the next morning we took a 30 minute, $40 USD cab ride to Bermuda’s other city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, St. George.

 

We started off in King’s Square, the town’s center.

 

 

The old, central Town Hall stands prominently in the square.

 

 

You can even sit in the mayor’s chair:

 

 

South of King’s Square over Market Wharf is Ordinance Island, housing the replica of the British ship that discovered Bermuda, Deliverance.

 

 

On the other side of the island is peculiar Sir George Somers Statue, who first discovered St. George:

 

 

Head west along Water Street and you’ll pass by the Old Carriage House and Tucker House Museum, one of the oldest buildings on the island:

 

 

Head west even further and take the southwest path at the fork and you can enjoy an hour ($5 USD admission) at the World Heritage Center, a well-curated museum that describes the history of St. George and the rest of Bermuda, while apparently also justifying St. George’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

 

From there, head northeast along (Duke of) York Street back to the city center. Across the street from the Bermuda National Trust Museum is arguably the “oldest church in the Western Hemisphere”, St. Peter’s Church.

 

 

Behind the church is an old, well-preserved historic cemetery and its fallen Cedar Tree:

 

1-2 blocks east of the church lies the former living quarters of the Governor, the Bridge House.


Up the road a few feet east of The Bridge House stands the old State House.


 

From here, head north through Somers Garden:

 

 

Walk more north along the (Duke Of) Kent Street and you’ll reach the Unfinished Church. This structure was meant to replace St. Peters Church until the congregation got politically (or spiritually, depending on how you look at things) divided and the money ran out.

 

 

Walk north around the church along Government Hill Road and up the hill for about 10 minutes and you’ll eventually reach beautiful and empty Tobacco Bay:

 

 

And about another 5-6 minute walk from Tobacco Bay is Fort St. Catherine, where my partner Mel ended up taking photos for me. Unfortunately, unlike Fort Hamilton yesterday, Fort St. Catherine is actually really closed on the weekends.

 


 

Thanks Mel! I unfortunately had to dip out at this point as a kindly Bermudan-Jamaican guy named Rowan ad his daughter Malala offered to drive me to the airport for free (it otherwise would’ve been another $20 USD).

Given that I had only an hour left before my flight was to depart and I had yet to check in, I took Rowan up on his offer where he and his daughter ended up charming me during the 15 minute drive. The kindness of islander strangers driving me to airports remains — see you in New York Rowan!

 

 

And with Rowan’s help, I leisurely made my way through US pre-clearance and customs to board my 3:40pm American Airlines flight back to NYC, where I was due to report to work on the graveyard shift. 

But to top this all off, immediately after landing at JFK Airport and bags still in tow, I was lucky to reunite with Ruchika and Alana (2 monsooners from my Winter 2012-2013 Chernobyl/Ukraine/Poland trip) and Lisa (who almost exactly replicated my SE Asia itinerary from 2010, also with Ruchika, Alana, and their other friend Elizabeth) at their joint birthday party in Brooklyn. 

This unplanned reunion and ensuing conversations recalling our times together on the road turned into a predestined reminder of how one’s personal wanderlust could impact others — friends of strangers — also to take action and travel. Thus lurking beneath our endless laughter and underlying nostalgia, in the air emerged a quiet awareness of why we do what we do, even if we had no idea why we were doing it in the first place.

 

 

With that dot on the proverbial exclamation point, I’ve finally hit 100 countries during 4 years of medical school and 2 years of residency! But the adventure doesn’t stop here. . . . 

 

- At time of posting in St. George, Bermuda, it was 21 °C - Humidity: 60% | Wind Speed: 6km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy

 

Lost In The Bermuda Triangle: My 100th Country

Lost In The Bermuda Triangle: My 100th Country

 

Since beginning my lonely (and not so lonely) journey 6 years ago, I decided finally to check off my 100th country today.

With about 36 hours off from work and finishing my overnight shift in the ER at 7am, I headed to JFK airport where I boarded an extremely affordable (think cheaper than it is to fly the 1 hour flight to Boston) 11:41am American Airlines direct flight to Bermuda.

I passed out immediately after getting into my seat and buckling in, waking up conveniently when we landed in Bermuda at 2:50pm.

 

 

The passport line took awhile; I finally got into my cab to Hamilton (The fare was around $30-$35 USD and took about 25 minutes) at around 3:30pm.

When leaving the airport I thought I was driving towards a really long, freshly painted, brightly turquoise fence. I took a closer look and realized it was real water. Yes, the water here is that blue.

 

 

After settling in at my AirBnB in the outskirts of Hamilton on Rosemont Avenue, we began our self-guided walking tour towards the capital city on Pitts Bay Road, reaching Barr’s Bay Park first.

 

 

A little more east of the park, as Pitts Bay Road becomes Front Street, you’ll come across the old Bank of Bermuda building that’s now an HSBC.

 

 

South of the building is another small park called Albuoy’s Point.

 

 

Continue east along Front Street where at the intersection of Front and Queen Streets is the Birdcage, an old colonial-era structure where officials used to stand in all day and direct traffic.

 

 

Turn north on Queen Street and on your right will be Par-La Ville Park:

 

 

…and the cute little Perot Post Office.

 

 

Turn right on Church Street where in the center of the city lies City Hall.

 

 

Adjacent to City Hall on the east is the Hamilton’s Bus Station.

 

 

One block north of the Bus Station is Victoria Park:

 

 

And another block north of Victoria Park is St. Teresa’s Cathedral.

 

 

From there we headed back south to Church Street and proceeded east, passing the grand Bermuda Anglican Cathedral:

 

 

East of the Cathedral is the colonial-era Parliamentary Sessions House:

 

 

And one block south is the Cabinet Building and Cenotaph/WW 2 Memorial:

 

 

The highlight attraction here will be Fort Hamilton, about 2 blocks north and east of the area containing the Cabinet Building and Cathedral. Head up the hill and you’ll find a few signs leading you there.

 

Fort Hamilton was built by the colonial British Empire during the American Civil War as a means to defend their Bermudan outpost in case things got dodgy and reached the Atlantic. Obviously it didn’t, so this fort was never used for its intended purpose other than becoming a minimally staffed museum reminding everyone what British colonialism looked like.

Although the closing time is listed as 5pm and it was already 6pm by the time we reached the fort, there was nary a soul (security, staff or tourist) around, so we went in anyway.

 

 

 

The fort is quite pleasant to walk around, and there are explanatory signs everywhere that obviates the need for museum staff.

 

 

You can get great views of Hamilton from the fort:

 

 

If you explore particularly thoroughly, you’ll find hidden stairwells and other nooks and crannies that lead you to the circumferential moat that surrounds the fort.

Instead of the typical water when you think of “moats”, it’s actually a peaceful, walkable jungle.

 

 

You can also access the creepy underground tunnels, some of which entrances/exits are inside the fort, and others that can be accessed via the “moat”:

 

 

After about 45 minutes wandering along around the fort, we headed back into the city.

 

 

…where we finished our day with a seafood and suckling pig dinner at Barracuda Grill:

 

 

…and some outdoor hookah on the balcony of Café Cairo:

 

 

- At time of posting in Hamilton, Bermuda, it was 21 °C - Humidity: 60% | Wind Speed: 24km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy